Thomas takes the helm at Westport Elementary

David Thomas pauses for a photo in the hallway of Westport Elementary School Monday. David Thomas pauses for a photo in the hallway of Westport Elementary School Monday.

David Thomas pauses for a photo in the hallway of Westport Elementary School Monday.

David Thomas pauses for a photo in the hallway of Westport Elementary School Monday.

Interim elementary principal replaces Tom Gastall

Not long into their new school year, students at Westport Elementary School were introduced to a new principal.

David Thomas, a Cape Cod resident, arrived last week to serve as the school’s interim principal.

He replaces Tom Gastall who left over the summer to take a principal position at Chase Street School in his home town of Somerset.

“The students, parents and staff have been truly wonderful, very welcoming in my first week,” Mr. Thomas said.

“The biggest challenge for me is learning names and matching faces to names. I’m at a disadvantage — everyone has my name down but I have to remember 60 new names … I’m getting there.”

The member of a family full of educators, Mr. Thomas was a principal for 16 years in the Barnstable Public Schools. Prior to that he was an assistant to the superintendent for early childhood education in Chelsea.

Mr. Thomas received his bachelor of science degree from Castleton State College, majoring in music. His masters of education degree in Early Childhood Education was earned at Bridgewater State University and his post graduate work in Educational Leadership was at Bridgewater State University and Cambridge College.

He serves as a Head Start Policy Council member and continues to pursue his interest in music.

“I play the trumpet, my brother plays the French horn, my other brother plays the trumpet and my son plays the trombone. So we have our own family quartet,” he said, adding that they sometimes perform at community groups in his home town.

Mr. Thomas’s wife is a seventh grade English teacher in Sandwich. They have two sons and a daughter; one son is a teacher at Cape Cod Academy, one is training as a paramedic/firefighter and their daughter is in graduate school.

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